Let’s Be Real: Pitbulls vs. Society

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Creative Commons image from Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_Pitbull_001.jpg

The American Pitbull is the controversial dog breed in America. Is their reputation well deserved?

For many years, pitbulls have been a hot button issue for law enforcement, animal activists, and pet owners alike. There is an almost constant tension between those who believe that pitbulls are more violent than other breeds of dog, and those that do not. Many people, especially those in or having ties to law enforcement, tend to lean on the side of viewing any dog that resembles a pitbull, including mutts and mixed breeds, as violent and dangerous towards everything and everyone.

Personally, I don’t believe that pit bulls are any more or less dangerous as any other breed of dog. In fact, I feel like they are some of the kindest, most trustworthy dogs out there.

What makes us demonize and incriminate pit bulls? I think the answer lies with a general fear that all pet owners, new and experienced, have when it comes to looking at a dog. It’s the standard to walk by the pitbulls and ignore them as they sit alone and isolated in the shops, pounds, and rescues. However, that shouldn’t be the case in my mind. There lies plenty of fear behind any type of pet, especially dogs, and even more so with the hundreds of breeds that exist.

At the end of the day, pitbulls can be violent. But so can any dog. It’s important that we as people understand that, and also to realize that we should not demonize these loyal, kind, and trustworthy animals. ”

For example, why should I fear for my life around a pitbull when the golden retriever or border collie or chihuahua sitting twenty feet away has the exact same power and potential to carry out the same acts of aggression and violence that pitbull are known for? There are no reasonable explanations as to why people could choose breeds apart from the pitbull and seemingly be immune from any sort of violence.

It’s also important to mention that a pitbull is not a breed, but instead, a general term used to class breeds of dogs with similar traits and characteristics commonly referred to as pitbulls.

Some of these breeds include the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bully, and other bull terrier breeds. Bulldog, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, and Bullmastiff are also breeds commonly looped into this classification.

Now, the heart of the issue behind the immense hatred toward pitbulls is their actions towards people and other dogs. More specifically, the interactions among families with infants and young children. Yes, there have been attacks, some fatal, that have involved pitbulls. Nevertheless, all pitbulls should not be shamed and in most cases, taken away or euthanized, just because of previous incidents that have happened.

The stereotype is that pitbulls are dangerous around children and other dogs, and because of that, a lot of law enforcement offices will contact homeowners or landlords and threaten to confiscate the dog and push jail time and fines for owners who do not give up their pitbulls. It has come to a point where I question the priorities that police have over certain animals. There have been numerous cases where pitbulls have been shot and killed while protecting their owners or simply just being on site during police action. Yes, police will intentionally shoot to kill a pitbull just because of the previous cases they have been informed.

So what could police officers do to change their ways about pitbulls? It’s simple: use them. If police truly believe that all pitbulls are violent, then why not adopt or rescue them and train them to become police and drug dogs? It would certainly bring more good to the face of the name, as well as prove that pitbulls are loyal companions that are great to keep around and rely on.

Another hard point that I have argued is that all pitbulls are violent. No, they are not. With the right amounts of training and affection, no pitbull is violent. Society has this image in their minds that pitbulls are untrainable, they are super violent, and they cannot be trusted around families. That’s wrong. In fact, pitbulls are widely known to be extremely loyal to their owners and their families. They will defend their family, even if it means they are put in harm’s way, such is the case for intruders and police officers attempting to seize them.

At the end of the day, pitbulls can be violent. But so can any dog. It’s important that we as people understand that, and also to realize that we should not demonize these loyal, kind, and trustworthy animals. They are not monsters. We are not monsters. There is room for change, and that is what we should see, not violence and hate.